"In the future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate them"(Friedman 309). Have you ever thought about how essential the effort you put into helping your child learn is to their ability to succeed in their education all together? Studies have proven that from birth to age three are the most crucial years in laying the foundation for the rate a child will learn because their brains are developing faster than at any other point in their lives. In Thomas Friedman’s book, The World Is Flat, he claims that we must repair our education system in order to keep up with the effects that globalization is having on the world. If we do not strengthen our education system, the U.S. will fall behind countries such as China and India in areas of innovation, causing our jobs to be outsourced and therefore “flattening” the world (Friedman). Yakima’s Ready By Five program will help us take a step in the right direction by getting parents involved in educating their children and preparing them to compete in the flat world. This program is essential to close the education gap and better prepare children with creativity, ambition, and the vital skills needed before they start kindergarten.
Ready By Five focuses on providing low-income families who live in the designated area of East Yakima with extra help to prepare their children with their best chance to succeed in this world. According to the Ready By Five website:
Ready by Five develops opportunities and strengthens existing early learning efforts within families, child care settings and the community, working to surround children with high quality early learning environments, wherever they spend their days… Ready by Five is creating a sustainable, integrated and accessible system for early learning, child development and family support services for the children and families of East Yakima. (Ready By Five)
Their website demonstrates how the program is working within East Yakima to take on and improve strengths and weaknesses in the families in order provide these children with the best encouragement, surroundings, and learning styles to set them up for success in life. In The World Is Flat, Friedman states, “Today we should be concerned about the gaps in our education, infrastructure, and ambitions that threaten to weaken us from within” (343). Here he is stressing the importance of providing everyone with an equal opportunity in education and encouraging children and students to develop a passion for learning. Ready By Five aims to ensure that kids do not fall behind in basic behavioral and language skills before they even reach school. The Gates Foundation discusses why this is necessary, “When children start behind, they often stay behind. By the third grade, 40 percent of low-income students read below grade level, compared to 27 percent of students overall—a 13 percentage point gap” (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). Ready By Five serves to close this gap in...